Thursday, June 4, 2009

I have written two or three counties which I do not know much about to ask them to double check their revolutionary history. I'm still away from home.

I did have a chance to slip over to see Monticello. It was beautiful, comfortable and smart.

My brother has given me the new book, American Lion, Andrew Jackson in the white House, to read during down times. Andrew Jackson was the American President in 1828. He was a young, penniless boy during the Revolution and dared oppose a British officer at age 14. He was whipped with a sword which left a scar for life. He was passionate and calulating, sentimental and ruthless. I've not really liked him, but this book is opening my eyes. I still think I would have thought he was not my cup of tea, but his book is great.

Andrew Jackson went to law school in Salisbury where he had a reputation as a rake. Later he fell in love with a woman and apparently they became a couple before her divorce was final. They were scandalous, but they were sincere in their love for each other and he adored her until her early death. His experience with her led him to be accommodating for other couples in which the "indelicacies" of the wife prior to her marriage was talked about. ( Men never get talked about, do they?) I can't quite figure Andrew Jackson out. He was very brave and heroic, and self absorbed and reckless.

The details of the Republic after the Revolution are fascinating. What is apparent is that the stirrings of the Revolution for freedom for all men grew. The battle to free the slaves was on-going. That said, Jackson's treatment of Indians was horrible. Unfortunately, he was not alone in his sentiments.

He lived most of his life in Tennessee. The first common man to rise from nothing to President. The first backcountry man to be President. His young life during the Revolution shaped his world view and in doing that, shaped the history of North America for the future. Mistreatment of young children is like setting landmines. You never know when one will go off in the future or what the consequences of that explosion will be.

On a lighter note, my son and his father ran across an interesting diversion - Screamtime Zipline in Boone. You slide across the mountain valleys on a harness suspended high in the air and some point flying at 70 miles per hour. Put on your Andrew Jackson face to conquer this. Do it at your own risk. They have to catch you at the end to slow you down. My boy loved it. Thank goodness I didn't know anything about it.

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